If you aren’t already familiar with the latest trend in the world of interior design, it won’t be long before you encounter Hygge – pronounced who-gah. This Danish style is the latest Scandinavian look to make the trip over the North Sea to the UK, and it is the perfect finish for the colder months here in Britain.
The closest English translation of the word is “cosy”, but there’s much more to Hygge than a shag-pile rug and a warm fireplace (although they certainly don’t hurt). Perhaps the most endearing aspect of Hygge is that it’s all about making the most of the small, simple things in life. In Danish life, creating a warm feeling of contentment that helps individuals and groups of people to relax and unwind is perceived to be much more important than putting on a show and trying to impress. Hygge isn’t for those who love flashy finishes or ostentatious furnishings, but it is ideal for those who love nothing more than curling up in their home with family, friends or even for some quality quiet time.
Why should we be concerned about this design from abroad? Well, Scandi natives frequently score high on the happiness charts and the UN recently announced Denmark to be the happiest country in the world, closely followed by Norway. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that they know how to make interior spaces the right kind of sanctuary.
Hygge starts with pleasurable functionality over frivolous pieces and unnecessary frills. It is about creating spaces that are enjoyable and flexible – making them the right environment for putting on a movie, playing with the family or hosting friends.
A keen focus is placed on accessible design rather than one that feels exclusive. In the Danish sense, cosy does not need to be filled with an overload of fabric, nor does it have to be restricted to a small, enclosed space – Hygge can work just as well alongside the high ceilings and airy, minimalist spaces that have become synonymous with Scandinavian design.
Natural materials are particularly welcome in Hygge-inspired rooms. From well preserved wooden floors to neat timber bookshelves across one wall, including nature can help to invoke a sense of calm. Simple but deeply comfortable seating is an important part of a Hygge space, with a coffee table and rug that gives friends and family a place to congregate.
Candles, open fireplaces and warm stoves also have a role to play in Hygge-styled rooms, as do flowers and fragrances. Smell is crucial to creating the right kind of atmosphere, so to get the most pleasure from a living space requires a close attention to aroma. As winter is the prime time for you to bring Hygge design into play, you may wish to consider fragrances that echo the spice of mulled wine and Christmas cooking. Think cinnamon, apple, orange or even chocolate.
Texture is another important feature of Hygge. When you contemplate getting cosy, there is always a corresponding sense of touch. Chunky knits for throws and cushions should never be far from your mind at this stage. A deep, welcoming rug is also excellent for encouraging the right sense of serenity. While layering is part of the Hygge process, remember that stepping over the line from functional to a plush array of scatter cushions can be too extravagant.
Think that Hygge might be right up your street but haven’t found the right new home to express yourself in? Take the time to call 0845 000 2525 and book an appointment at the luxury apartments here at Quartermile. View this weekend and you could be in by Christmas.